Updated : 06/27/2012 14:26 GMT + 7
After the Lunar New Year, central An Phu port becomes a bustling bazaar for sharks. Every morning, refrigerated trucks line up at the market in Quang Ngai Province to pick up shark fins, each valued between VND1.8 million and VND2.3 million (US$90 to $102).
Fins, the most valuable asset from the sharks, often are sold to local restaurants or exported. They make up the main ingredient in a soup that is a popular status symbol among Asian consumers.
Shark meat, on the other hand, fetches VND20,000 to VND 25,000 per kilogram.
Mai Tu, captain of a fishing boat numbered QNg-27225TS, said he earned VND200 million, minus expenses, following a 28-day trip offshore.
Other local fishermen say sharks frequent the East Sea from the eleventh month to the fourth month on the lunar calendar, roughly December to May.
Fishing for sharks, often depicted as the menace of the ocean, can put fishermen in danger. But the demand for shark fin soup has also endangered the fish, so much so that California banned the delicacy last year.
A fisherman shows off a 30 kg shark.
Valuable shark fins.
Valued at VND20 million, the fin of this 400 kg, freshly-killed shark is sliced from its body.
Sharks for sale and on display at An Phu fish market.
Captain Mai Tu said fishing sharks requires a strong spirit and patience because the creature is clever.
Using a pulley, fishermen lift a 400 kg shark out of a hold.
Women help carry sharks from the boats to the market.
A shark is transported onto a refrigerated truck.
Buyers get their shark fins straight from the market.
After a shark-fishing boat anchors at the An Phu port, dozens of buyers snap up sharks for their fins.